Anthony Albanese pledge to make childcare report profits, fee data and ban 'marketing gimmicks'

Labor will promise more transparency around childcare funding and fees. Picture: Karleen Minney
Labor will promise more transparency around childcare funding and fees. Picture: Karleen Minney

Federal Labor would force childcare operators to publish their revenue and profit each year and ban the use of inducements like iPads to enrol if elected, as part of a push for transparency in a sector.

In a speech to be delivered on Thursday, Labor leader Anthony Albanese will pledge to put the $9 billion sector under the microscope on the same day the government introduces the legislation for its extra childcare funding in the House of Representatives.

Under the proposal, providers will be required not only to publish their profits, but to provide real-time fee data.

"Parents should have more transparency around what exactly they're paying for, so they can decide which provider is right for their family."

The opposition also wants to crack down on the inducements some centres offer for enrolments.

"Labor will also stop the practice of for-profit providers offering inducements, such as free iPads, to entice families to enrol," Mr Albanese is expected to say.

"These are marketing gimmicks and are an inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars."

On Tuesday fierce debate erupted in the government party room on the scheme, with one senator saying he wouldn't support the bill if it didn't also offer support to families that choose to look after their children at home. Mr Albanese is expected to seize on the division within the government on the issue.

"Even this week, we saw an astonishing display of the contempt some in the coalition have for working families, with a member of the government reportedly saying that women who use child care are, 'outsourcing parenting,'" Mr Albanese is expected to say.

"The level of disrespect in that statement is galling, and shows how out of touch they are with working families."

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will make the announcement on Thursday. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will make the announcement on Thursday. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Under the legislation to be introduced on Thursday, families with more than one child in care will be able to increase the subsidy claimed for the second or more children, starting in July 2022. The $1.7 billion government package was the centrepiece of the budget statement for women, and is shaping up to be an election issue between the two families.

Asked whether he agreed with the comment that women who used childcare were "outsourcing parenting" in question time, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he "absolutely" supported childcare.

"In fact, I'm one of the beneficiaries of childcare and I live in a regional area," he said.

Education Minister Alan Tudge said in the government, "we firmly believe in choice".

"It is choice of families if they want to use the childcare system they can and choice of families if they want to have a stay at home parent. In some instances the parents don't have that choice because both parents need to go into the workforce and in that instance then we need to provide affordable, quality childcare. And that's exactly what this government's been doing."

Mr Tudge said the legislation would benefit 250,000 families.

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This story Labor to make childcare report profits and ban 'marketing gimmicks' first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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